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Top 5 Renewable Energy Careers

        Money | Careers

4
Farmer

People have been farming for hundreds of years. Traditionally, a farmer’s job has been producing fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and herbs for human consumption – providing for the human energy supply, if you will. In the new-energy economy, farmland will continue to provide energy sources for humans, but not just for their bodies.

More and more, farmers are growing food not for the kitchen table but instead for automobiles and clothes dryers. Bioenergy is a quickly expanding sector of the renewable-energy market, and those looking for a career providing modern, green power can realistically look to one of the oldest professions in the book to make a living. Corn ethanol already has a strong presence in the mainstream fuel supply. It's added to most of the gasoline you get at the pump, in various amounts. The ethanol market will most likely continue to expand despite reservations about setting aside so much land for energy crops; as far as money crops go, corn is still a good one.

Soybean, sugar cane, wheat, coconut, oil palm and grape-seed farmers could also find their produce in high demand in the production of ethanol and other biofuels such as biodiesel. One of the big selling points for farming as a top renewable-energy career is this broad range of potential biological inputs (and outputs). Depending on location, cultivating energy crops is seldom a uniform venture. Many options exist for those looking to get into the field.

Another biggie is the "waste not" angle. Farmers can potentially turn some types of farm refuse, including corn stalks and cow manure, into biofuel. This type of energy production is still mostly in the research stages, but the possibility means that even those farmers who specialize in food crops could someday make a bit extra by putting their farm waste toward bioenergy production.

Number 3: A job in the sun.


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